Is a Sexless Marriage Reason To Divorce?

sexless marriageMy friend Bethany kept falling in lust with men at her office, which would’ve been fine except that she was in a seventeen-year marriage with two teenaged daughters. She was never physically unfaithful to her husband Doug, but the cost in integrity was devastating.

Finally the inevitable happened. She fell in love with one of her co-workers. Again, there was no physical infidelity, but hearts were involved. She decided she’d rather end her marriage than have an affair.

This is one of the things I love about Bethany, no equivocation, but in this instance I thought she was being rash.  Couldn’t she tell Doug what was happening?  That the survival of their marriage was at DefCon 5?  I was shocked to discover she’d been honest with Doug and he’d remained passive.

When Bethany divorced Doug you’d have thought she was divorcing me. We’ve known each other since our Study of Women and Men In Society class in Bovard Auditorium at USC circa 1986 and bonded over our shared experience of being children of divorce.  How could she consider leaving a marriage to, as she fully admitted, a funny, kind, committed man?

“Doug and I don’t have sex,” she said.

“What does that mean you and Doug don’t have sex?  You mean, like, you have it once a month or so?”

“I mean, like, we haven’t had sex in two years.”

“Holy shit!  I had no idea!”

“It’s not really something people advertise.  And the last time we did it we had to get drunk and watch porn.”

“But why?” I asked, “Why don’t you have sex?”

“Because I’ve become his mother.  We have an Oedipal relationship.  Just minus the sex.”

Bethany explained that over the years she’d taken up more and more real estate in the marriage or Doug simply did less and less so she had to.  She managed their family schedule, she had the bigger job, she planned all their vacations, she made all major decisions about their finances and their children.

“Is this because you’re controlling and bossy?” I asked.  She is controlling and bossy and I can say that because so am I.

“Maybe,” she said.  ”But, I don’t always want to be the boss, sometimes I really want him to take over.”

There certainly was one place where Doug was the boss and that was in the bedroom.  He could control Bethany by withholding.  My assessment, not hers.

When you’re a married person, other people’s divorces – from marriages that seemed solid and strong – can be threatening.  If it happened to them it could happen to you.  I have a propensity to be the boss in my home and Bethany’s story was a wake-up call that always getting my way in my marriage could end up being a pyrrhic victory.  Fortunately, my husband Henry is willing to tell me when I need to “crawl out of his ass.”

Over time I came to understand that in divorcing Doug, Bethany did something incredibly brave.  She took all the hits for breaking up her family, from her parents, her siblings, her children and her friends, myself included, in order to seek a fuller, more integrated life.

In the midst of the divorce, when Bethany had lost twenty pounds and couldn’t sleep and doubted herself, she clung to one simple truth, “I can’t live the rest of my life without passion.”

A passionless life.  Not just sexless, but passionless.  We all need to have a passion.  Whether it’s passion for our partner or spouse, our work, our children, our hobbies.  The lack of sex in Bethany’s marriage had eroded the passion of her spirit.  She was living a rote, predictable, stagnant life.

It took time for me to see her situation objectively — divorce is always a personal trigger for me — and to realize I didn’t have the moral right to sentence her to a passionless life.

That was two years ago.  I look at Bethany’s life today.  It’s not perfect.  The man she fell in love with is no longer in her life and she’s not in a hurry to meet someone new.  She wants to better understand herself and not bring her daughters into a situation that won’t last.  She and Doug are incredibly amiable and excellent parents to their now almost grown daughters.

Funnily enough, Bethany’s life is sexless again, but this time it’s by choice.  Which leaves room for passion and possibility.

 

 

  105 comments for “Is a Sexless Marriage Reason To Divorce?

  1. Diane Lutz
    February 12, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I love that you said, ” I didn’t have the moral right to sentence her to a passionless life.” I am separated and it’s funny how many people, even those who have divorced themselves, tell me I should try harder to make it work.

  2. February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I applaud your friend for doing the right thing. We have to be happy with ourselves and our lives. If not, everyone suffers.

  3. Linda
    February 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    A very insightful article. There all sides to this issue, for myself I do live in a sexless marriage. My dear husband has had 3 strokes and the plumbing just does not work, yet he is willing to please me in other ways. I have had to learn it’s not just the sex it’s the passion and growing love that truly counts for us. Is it easy, hell no but I think it is worth it.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      i have seen a couple of divorces happen due to sexless marriage…my friend is going through one right now…..its awful and no man or woman should suffer with out a healthy sexual life…
      its the truth!

      • SexlessSam
        February 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        What about sexually lonely men like me who are unable to have sex with a partner? My wife stopped having sex with me years ago. I remain faithful and don’t want to get a divorce and breakup the family. We get along fine despite there being no sex. So my only sexual outlet is masturbation and porn.

        I’ll tell you one thing. If I gave up the porn and masturbation the chances of me cheating on my wife out of sexual desperation are about 100%

        So in a way porn keeps my family together and keeps me from straying from my marriage. I don’t like the situation but my family is more important to me than affairs or paid sex.

        • jecedar
          February 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

          Wow sexless Sam, you hit it on the head. Your situation is very similar to mine. I have remained faithful through it all, and am thankful for all the women on the internet that are totally opposite of my wife.
          Our marriage and relationship has become brother and sister/ father and daughter. Sucks but you have to keep moving forward.
          Funny thing is that in the past the very few times we did have sex, she orgasm’d so hard she almost faints, but that’s it, like a switch is turned off we are done for months.
          I think this is more of a problem for men than women. Before the women start looking for reasons, we did go to a female therapist and she just could not understand the problem and told the wife any woman would love to trade places with her in a second. Oh well….

          • Linda
            March 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm

            Jedecar, unfortunately there are many women that suffer in silence like myself. Understanding the hurt that comes with feeling rejected by my spouse is hard. It’s been years and yes it just that, but it means a lot to me. So, yrs women suffer in silence in most cases.

          • dan
            September 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm

            sexless Sam,
            it’s like you’re talking about me. But after years of suffering I had an affair with a co-worker. then my wife went nuts and neurotic about it and started to have sex with me and asked me to stop seeing the co-worker. so I did stop seeing anyone.after that my wife is back to the old sexless life we had before but this time her reason is ” BECAUSE YOU CHEATED ON ME”.
            I don’t understand why women stop having sex with their partner and expect them to be faithful.
            before i got married to this woman I was happy with the life of “friends with benefit than married without benefit”.

        • Linda
          March 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm

          I applaud you. It’s by far the hardest reality I’ve had to face after over 3 years. Men like you are few and your faithfulness to yourself and your family has opened my eyes. Thank you

        • Michael
          August 10, 2014 at 5:22 am

          Buddy get out of that sexless relationship it is so so so unhealthy for a man to go with out sex women just do not wnderstand. A man must have sex it is not a need it is a must why would you eventhink it is ok to live with a sexless women. There are so many women out there that love sex and would never withhold from a man get out of that relationship as fast as you can. Why would you do this to your self do you think that little of your self this is just sick. You will be more productive you will be happier , healthh and yes you will have a healthyer prostrate get out tonight no women is worth being with in a sexless relationship. I just do not understand how men would put up with this.

        • Sexless Sam
          September 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

          I forgot to mention that’s it’s been 15 years since my wife and I had sex. The last time was when we conceived our teenage son. I do miss the skin to skin contact.

          • Tim_S
            September 24, 2014 at 3:57 am

            I’m in a similar situation – it’s been about 10 years for me. Wife doesn’t think it’s important and won’t work with me to do anything about it. We get along well in every other respect. I’ve discussed this with my best friends and their advice is – find a woman in a similar circumstance, and have a long-term Friends-With_Benefits affair. I’d do that with the right person. The problem is finding that person. My wife is till very attractive to me.

    • anne
      August 7, 2013 at 8:04 am

      I am a more in shape than my husband give him more pleasure than he cares to give me.I do have anemia and sometimes it knocks me down but for the most I am one hell of a woman.I thought yr comment of yr husband is I’ll n still makes it a point to please u is awesome.hell I have to beg ya beg my husband for money for my medicine.and sex what’s sex I have plenty of other offers which thank god because not only is my so-called marriage sexless my husband never tells me I look good .it surprises me when younger go of looking men ask me out after living like this.

    • December 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

      Linda, I think it’s wonderful that the 2 of you have found a way to achieve pleasure. We do need to think of alternate ways to please each other when illness enters the picture. You might enjoy my recent article here at BA50- http://betterafter50.com/2013/10/does-chronic-disease-affect-your-sex-life/

  4. Tina
    February 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    My guess, he is addicted to porn. It is sadly becoming the leading cause for divorce and actually lowers mens libido and self esteem. It is not the porn of the 70′s with coy centerfolds. It is hardcore, often violent and easily found. Women should be outraged that this form of hate crime is allowed to happen in this country.

    • jecedar
      February 26, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Tina, you are wrong. Yes there are exceptions,but womens sex drives are miniscule compared to men (testosterone does that). Unless you understand the sex drive of healthy males, men are very visual. There may be some situations where men become addicted but you will find in the majority of cases all of the uninhibited ladies on the internet provide a healthy release outlet for men.
      For all the females out there who do not know this fact, yes fact, men need to get rid of sperm which they produce in unbelievable quantities. Females release an egg a month, men produce milllions of sperm a day. Unless it is released, it needs to be absorbed which has consequences on health over time (auto immune diseases, prostate cancer). So unless wives take care of their husband’s needs, they need to take care of their health.

    • michael
      August 10, 2014 at 5:13 am

      GET REAL DO YOU KNOW HOW STUPID YOU SOUND Please

  5. February 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I’m not sure porn is the problem or even a problem in a lot of marriages. Attraction in of itself needs to exist, blaming it on external sources may not be the best way to go about rekindling a flame. If the attraction is gone, and gone forever, I might very well consider divorce. I mean, really, what’s the point? Just my opinion

  6. KImberly DeOliveira
    March 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    This really hit home. I have been married 27 years and our sex life has always been healthy strong and satisfying to both of us. We enjoy it for its own sake and is never used for anything other than what it was created for. We are having other issues I did not anticipate and would never believe I would ever consider divorce. It is the passionless life part. That is what has disappeared from him and it is what I cannot live without. The part about being brave enough to take this step when on the outside all seems well was tough to read. I thought I was alone , I don’t know if I am brave enough but turning 50 has made me rethink many things, such as what truly is love and can it erode. What if it was inauthentic, but convenient and culturally acceptable and expected. What is the true love of your life reappears but is married as well. What if you realize you spent your life living someone else’s? A sexless marriage, in my opinion is no marriage at all.
    And no one should live a passionless life.

  7. Datdamwuf
    March 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for saying “He could control Bethany by withholding.” That is what my abusive ex did to me for 5 years.

    • anne
      August 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

      My husband has the nerve to come to bed named roll over n that’s it.I know there is cruel but when he did that I realized he is a total jerk.at one point I really thought we had something special now I know I WS nothing more than I maid or should I say slave.

  8. unolabrat
    March 5, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Extremely well said, as if I was the friend that was written about. How did some one find out about my life with my ex? No sex in a marriage: I was so embarrassed by this and thought this was extremely rare. Sex as a weapon: society portrays this as something women do, not men. It has been 9 years since I took the blame and walked away from that marriage hanging onto the last of my dignity and self respect. Now I am 50, confident, happy and have rediscovered my passion. Life without passion is not living.

    • Andrea
      August 5, 2014 at 1:32 am

      I’m going through what you went through. I’m haven’t have sex with my husband in almost 15 years. I’m married 22..There’s nothing, I can’t even talk to him. I’m lonely, we haven’t even slept in the same bed. I can’t handle it anymore! I’m going to be 50. I feel like a part of me is gone. That I’m unattractive, and that it is me. I’m starting counseling to try to figure out how to leave. Or what to do. I want passion, I want to feel like I’m important. I want to be hugged and kissed and all of it. I get nothing. I won’t more and I don’t know how to do it. .I’m scared..what if know one wants me.

  9. Marsha
    April 12, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Excellent article and something that resonated with me. Although I’m 33 and my fiancé and I aren’t married yet. Lately, I’ve been seriously considering ending this relationship. I think it’s been well over 5 months since the last time we had sex and it doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. I’m alarmed by this and can’t imagine a life with no passion. I feel like I’d be doing my fiancé and myself a favor by ending this relationship at this point. I can easily be Bethany a few years from now.

    Thank you very much for sharing this story.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      i am single and 5 months is a long time for a boyfriend and girlfriend not too have sex…
      be careful it could be the beginning of a problem prior too marriage settle it now so you will not wind up in these terrible marriage some of these people are in!

      all the best

    • anne
      August 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

      U r smart woman.don’t worry if Mr right is meant to come along he will.goodluck

    • AWS
      August 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I am that fiancée who ignored the red flags. Sex went away several months before our wedding. Our first fight about it was when I was 27. Now I’m almost 37, we have, by some miracle and aaaaall of my doing, 2 young sons. Everyone thinks that our marriage is perfect, but I have been sad and lonely for 9 years. There are other frustrating aspects like the fact that I’ve always stayed thin and beautiful for him, I make a 6 figure salary, I’m funny and nice, I’m a great mom and provider. This sparks little affection from him. All conversations and sexual encounters are initiated by me. He’ll ask our children how their day was, but not me. He will not even kiss me first upon leaving each other in the morning or reuniting after work. He doesn’t take me out on dates and if given the option, he’d rather drink until stupefied while watching tv than have sex with his wife. EVERY anniversary, birthday and valentines day since we got married was a sexless night!! That’s typically a “given” for most couples. So, keep in mind that if your fiancé doesn’t want sex now, if you look closely, you’ll see that there are many other passionless aspects of him that will lead to heartbreak in what’s supposed to be all of your life’s happiest milestones. Each of them, as you look back on your life with him will be punctuated and marred by lack of affection, passion and authentic happiness. I’m getting tired of pretending to be happy…and I’m so good at it! Please don’t go through with it. Find someone who can look at you, really look at you with intensity and confidence and marry THAT guy.

      • Diana
        June 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm

        Had he ever had his testosterone levels checked out? Hormone imbalance is prevalent these days due to environmental issues and many men fail to realize they could be affected. My sister’s husband had some issues and eventually went for a complete physical. They discovered he had an extremely low testosterone level that was affecting him physically and sexually. Not that this is your husband’s problem but it might be worth looking into. I am so sorry that you are going through this. No one should have to feel rejected or unloved by their soul mate.

      • Mom of a miracle
        August 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

        This is the first time I am coming across someone who share my same issues.. It’s been five years since I got married.. And we wouldn’t have had sex more than a dozen through all this time. With the help of an infertility doctor, I got him to pop a pill and give me a son. Trying to convince him for my second child but there seems to be no limits for excuses. I’m just 30, still in shape and take every effort to make myself look attractive. Guess that’s not enough. My husband is perfect in every other sense except the fact that he doesn’t know that his wife has desires too. People think that we are so lovey dovey.. Guess we are doing a good job in keeping up our image. Sometimes, I feel like jumping on the next plane back home.. Sigh! I just don’t have the guts to face it. My son is my only comfort.

      • Jaded
        September 13, 2014 at 6:56 am

        AWS

        Have you thought that he might be homosexual? Outrageous, but still something to consider.

        He is staying put in this marriage but have you asked him why he is there and does he find his relationship with you fulfilling?
        You are a a very capable and independent person by the sounds of things. Perhaps he has concluded that you don’t actually need him.
        I was trapped in a marriage similar to yours and I have recently come to the conclusion that my husband just wanted a housekeeper – he wanted someone to take care of him. He really had no idea how to be a husband. When we separated, he kept on eluding that the separation was very inconvenient for him. I think he married me, a capable person who pretty much earned all the money, did the housework and looked after the kids. The more capable I was, the easier life was for him – perfect! So the separation came as a huge blow – not because he missed or loved me, but mostly because of the workload he had now acquired. Perhaps your husband sees you in the same way?

    • Kezia
      August 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      If you are struggling with sexual intimacy NOW in your relationship, do not get married. It will NOT change. While walking away now may be painful, it will not be as painful as a divorce and even worse, divorce with a child. Cut your losses now and run the other way.

    • CJ
      November 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Trust me…don’t get married you will regret it. I knew before I got married that my husband didn’t care for sex. But, I (along with my husband) convinced myself I could deal with it. It’s only sex…right. Wrong. 2 1/2 yrs later I’m realizing I can’t. It effects my self esteem and I’m becoming resentful. I feel stupid for complaining about sex when my husband is perfect with everything else. We are that perfect couple. You can’t tell anyone why you are unhappy. Not a good place to be.

  10. charles
    April 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Yes indeed. To be brave enough to speak of divorce. Especially after 20 years of marriage.

    My attempts at getting sex usually meant begging and trying to explain how horny I am. The response would be:

    ” wait.. I have to remove my make up”

    or if in a better mood:

    ” Later.. I promise ok??”

    By then it would have been too late, tired and I would have dozed off. The offence would be my own doing..

    ” I told you ‘later’ but you had fallen asleep”

    I have given up, and have not have sex with my wife for the last 10 months. Masturbation and prostitutes are the alternatives.
    Not bad actually.

    A divorce is better.

    Thanks for having me.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      hi there…

      try not too go the prostitute route….find a woman/lover that will treat you well and give you the sex that you need….she has too be sexual as you are and if you like being masterbated by y our girlfriend/wife tell her so she knows what you want/need. the worst is suffering in a sexless union…please find a nice woman first. avoid prostitutes and dating services for now.

  11. nevergetsnone
    April 23, 2013 at 4:00 am

    There are such things as sexless marriages. Experts say married couples having sex less than once a month could be considered in a sexless marriage. I am in a sexless marrage, as we usually go a full year without sex, and while difficult we somehow make it work. My spouse has absolutely no interests in sex, which is a complete 360 turn around from when we were dating. Not sure what exactly happened, however, I do know birth control has zapped much of her desire. If you are in a sexless marriage there are no pseudo quick fixes, it is what it is, its best to learn to accept it, or else drive yourself crazy and or file for divorce. I know I am not the only one a sexless marriage affects men and women equally. There are many men who deny their wife as well.
    I have been through the so called expert” tips and nothing works. Just learn to live with the situation and accept them as they are, you will find it’s the only way to deal with the problem and retain your sanity.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Sex once a month?….I find that almost abusive–why? there has too be serious issues going on that is preventing sex. is there a lot of betrayal, does she treat you badly, verbal abuse, why is this happening—many couples go without sex and the refuser is the one who is the controller all the time….go figure that one out…they are nasty, rude, don’t want too be touched yet the do not want too give sex too their partner..

      my advice give a bit of time if there is no sex you need too take a stand and make a decision if your going too make it or not.. you should never suffer without sex. masturbation is fine but should not be the only source of orgasm. i hate too say this if she’s not giving up the goods then you need too find wonderful lover who will help you sexually! good luck!

    • Forbetterorworse?
      July 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Whatever happened to for better or worse? I haven’t had sexual ingercourse with my husband (and therefore anyone) in 20 years of a 30 year marriage. My husband had impotence problems from the beginning but was not totally impotent the first 10 years. He could achieve a “semi-erection” and he pleased me in other ways. For the last 20 years he’s been totally impotent, and he’s too embarrassed to seek medical attention. Improbably should have. It did not insist. He cried. He told me he wouldn’t blame me if I had an affair and to be honest, there are times when I feel resentful and bitter that I think I should have. Should’ve, could’ve…whatever. Everyone has their cross to bear right? He’s been a good friend, a good father to my kids (he adopted them). Now I’m 55 and I still have a sex drive. Masterbation is my only option. I guess he feels like he’s “safe” now that I’m too old to go outside the marriage and rarely (once every 2 months I’d say) even gives me pleasure at all. Of course I had to give up being desired as woman while still in my mid 30″s. I had to give up intimacy. My cross I guess.

  12. Lonelynights
    April 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I to have this problem and have been too embarased to discuss even with my best friend. I got married very young at 18. Of course then came children and being a stay at home wife, I was always busy with family, entertaining trying to make a perfect little home. Right from the sart even though my husband is older than me he prefered that I look after everthing in our household. Bills, kid problems, where and if we took vacations, all the planning and even how we saved money. He hates any confrontation even in the form of just dicussing and I can’t remember him ever making a desision on his own. About 15 years ago sex started to gradually disapear from our marrige until now we sleep in separate bedrooms and have had no intimacy for 8 years. We have now been married for 35 years and I keep myself busy and have a very fulfilling job, but the nights and weekends are so lonely unless we have our kids or grandkids around. I am still in my 50′s and crave intimacy and even conversation. I have thought of divorcing but am afraid it would devistate our family. I wish that I had the guts to just do it and maybe be able to have some passion and love before it is too late for me I to have always lways had to be everyones mother even my husbund, just once I would like someone to look after me.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      separate rooms…no good already a problem. i saw my man every 1-2 nights we had sex, fun, cooked naked, had sex while he was watching the ball game–we had so much fun.

      if your married and sleeping in another room it should be happening you should not be falling for any manipulation either….a lot of sexless marriage have 1 who is the manipulator of the 2.

      do NOT and i repeat do NOT fall into the trap of manipulation….i would talk too her but if you get sucked into that cruel box…you need too find another person…do NOT suffer from lack of sex and do NOT let anyone control you about the subject!

  13. Amy
    May 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I want to say my husband is not into porn or other women. He has no computer, tv, radio, or phones. This was the first things I checked for.
    We have been married 45 years and only had sex, intimacy or any loving once and that was on our wedding night. But I should have known something was a miss, our love making maybe lasted 1/2 hour. He told me later he hated sex and intimacy, that was meaningless, pointless, messy, smelly, not worth the effort. He had no real interest in me after the ‘I DO’s’ were done. He moved all his stuff to the basement and suggested that I never bother him again. And then he volunteered to work the midnight shift, never ever to sleep with me again. After all these years I don’t care any more, my life was wasted because of a selfish man who only thought of himself. I created my own life without men, I hate and distrust them all. I’m in my 60s now and my life has been difficult and maybe my life will end soon.

  14. Marie
    June 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I also live in a sexless marriage but because I chose this and now I am considering whether I should get a divorce. I have been married for 18 years and never really liked sex with my husband. About 10 years ago, I completely lost my sexual desire and told my husband that I am “sexless” person and I wanted to be a in sexless marriage. He accepted this because he loved me so much, even though I know that he is a sexual person and I think he enjoyed sex with me. About 6 months ago I found myself attracted to another man and had an affair. I found that I really do like sex and I have desire, but not for my husband. The affair is over, but I am thinking I need to leave my marriage. My husband and I are really good friends and companions and get along really well, but we don’t have intimacy and this has eroded our emotional connection, so much so that I ended up having an affair. I also feel like I should be fair to my husband and release him if I am not going to have a real marriage. But this feels like the “wrong” reason for a divorce. Any ideas on what I should do?

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      i cannot tell you too divorce or not…but i know for me i could not do it…i was able too remain celibate after my relationship because i wanted too and went back too my music and drums.

      now i want too be back in a sexual relationship with someone i am crazy about. it could be a casual relationship and i do have a gent that’s some more but right now i feel i need too ease back into the sexual world again and enjoy it again before becoming a full time girlfriend again

      emotional connection is everything!!! if you do not have it with your partner and fight and say awful things too each other you may have too find another lover…..

    • mark
      February 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      You are the problem not him, be fair? You’ve already been about as unfair as you can be..you eroded the emotional connection you pretty much eroded everything by being selfish in the first instance and by being deceitful and selfish in the second instance….you want advice?
      Find a desert island there will be plenty of time for you to do what you obviously do best…focus on youself.

    • randy
      August 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Sounds like your a manipulator, you could have tried new and exciting things to turn you on and get your motor running, and by the way you have no moral right to shove your husband in a passionless marriage, bottom line when the novelty wears off you will do it to the next one too betcha.

  15. June 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I was married at 19, he was 20, it is now 35 years later. I have always had a strong sex drive, he has not. I was the one to initiate at least 95% of the time. About 18 years ago, he said no he didn’t want sex,. no matter what I did. that was it, I told him that I would never ask him for sex again, it would be up to him to initiate. His idea of sex is dry kiss, no foreplay, missionary position, he is finished in 4 minutes. I have wasted my life being with him, I am like many of these letters, I am afraid to hurt my kids, family, grandchildren, I have been mom and housewife. that’s it. So I live in this house with this man. I really want to go to New York and just sit and watch niagra falls. It sounds silly, but I really want that. Passionless living feels like death, maybe watching the falls would help me feel something.

    • June 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      You are not alone.

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      If you are fighting too much he may have lost interest in sexual activity. discussions have too be made and take it from there…but it does not look good at the moment…

      good luck and hope it works out!

    • August 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      I’m always amazed when I hear there are women in sexless marriages, but I guess it must be so, as I’ve seen so many of these letters. Good luck to you.
      I went the first 7 years of marriage with zero sex other than a little fondling. My wife wasn’t ready for kids and was against any birth control. Was okay with receiving oral but wouldn’t reciprocate. When she got pregnant I thought things would change, at least for the first 10 to 20 weeks of the pregnancy, but she was worried about having a miscarriage caused by sex, so that was the end of that.
      Now been married 30 years and haven’t had sex in over 6 months. She’s a good mother and a good person, but the desire for sex has had too much control in my life and I wish it could end.

      I have pretty much given up hope, but it was good to have this forum to comment, even if no one ever reads this. Good luck to all.

      “Come, my friends, tis not too late, to seek a newer world.”

      • David
        October 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

        Hi, I did read this, and you have no idea how I can empathize with you, having been sex-starved for a long time until divorce.

        Enduring what you endure requires a great strength. Keeping on focusing on the positive aspects of your wife. Not letting frustration completely take over your mood. This is really really hard.

        You have my sympathy.

      • randy
        August 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        I have been married for 23 years, we have not had sex in over 6 years, call it menopause or what you will, I call it wrong, oh we sorta get along, I try to date her, but to me she’s just with me because I am a good provider, I want to sell the house and so does she, but shes not going where this guys going, this bird is done, i’m only 56 not a bad lookin guy and too young for some wall flower to sentence me to a sexless life, I no longer wish to be with this vile, nasty, lazy woman.Hey it was her call not mine but I will do something about it.

  16. Silently Screaming
    July 2, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I have been married for 23 years. We have a sexless marriage. it’s the lack of intimacy and connection that screams silently in your ears and wears you down.The feelings of being rejected. And when I asked for a divorce, he said he didn’t want that! He didn’t know there was a problem. I said, when we legally separated (my initiative) a few years ago, you knew it was the number one problem. We got back together because I felt guilty for his well-being, and he promised to get help. Well, I have waited a few more years, and things in the bedroom have not improved. So, back, to the divorce, I asked if he had similar problems in his first 10 yr marriage, and he says,” Yes, I went to the doctor and he said for me to go to see a sex therapist, and I didn’t go.” I lost my cool, and said- so for years you have been letting me beat myself up about this, and it is your issue? He replied, “I forgot!”. I said really. How could you forget something that is threatening to destroy your second marriage? I said you are really only concerned about yourself- is that real love??

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      funny i have been to Italy 23 times—

      seriously though–the passion seems too be gone and the relationship is barely hanging from a thread.

      the second marriage is not working..i know marriages that have sex 4-5 times a week and are married 20 years….there is a problem and you may have too say goodbye for good

  17. Pathetic
    July 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I have been married for 20 years. We have not had sex for over two years. My husband was never hungry for sex, but when we had sex it was always very satisfying. Once we started having kids our sex life decreased dramatically. The first long spell was when my second child was born, we went 8 months…I would openly discuss the “lack of sex” with my husband; there were even times I asked him if he was gay. It always bothered me, but now I just don’t know what to do.. A little over two years ago, I discussed my concerns with my husband. At the time we had not been intimate for TWO years…I told him that we were only roommates and this is not what I signed up for. I told him that I was at my sexual peak and wanted sex all the time and couldn’t go on like this anymore. Even told him I would do anything he wanted but because I basically do everything for our household and make all the decisions, which is exhausting; I wanted him to take initiative in the bedroom. I had him go to the dr. and all looked fine, I had him take vitamins to help boost his labido. He was really devastated, but things improved for about 6 months. I wanted him to take charge of this but after a few months he gradually started back to his same habits. We tell each other we love the other all the time and kiss hello and goodbye, but that is it. He never comments on how I look and never touches me. We sleep in the same bed night after night, but it has been over two years and nothing; I have not brought the subject up again. I am bitter, I already had the talk and it was heart-wrenching, How can we ever heal this marriage when he just isn’t into sex? A friend I confided in, suggested seeing a therapist…problem is we have very hight co-payments and I am just tired, feel it is useless and feel really pathetic; Icertainly don’t want pity sex.. I do know he truly loves and cares about me, he is an amazing and envolved father and just a really nice guy. I do love and care for him, but this is just not a marriage. What do I do? I don’t want to hurt him or my kids. If I end the marriage it will change things for my children and future grandchildren.

    • sexyless
      July 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I am recently divorced from my husband of 23 years. Although , he is a kind and generous man, the lack of consistency in the bedroom wore down my self esteem, and caused me to be angry and lash out at him for the most minute of things. No matter what the discussions we had, and the times he promised to improve, I believe his selfishness got the better of him, and he lived in denial that I would actually leave him. I told him for years, that I would divorce when my youngest graduates from high school. He is now weeping and crying over the divorce and yes he is very depressed. If you feel guilty and sorry for your spouse this is normal…but remember the agony they caused you all those years? the nights you turned away in your pillow to dry silently with your heart completely torn and broken? Did they care then? No. Especially of you are a woman,,,they actually believed your yearning for intimacy was insignificant ,,after all you are not the prostitute they really want to give passion to , in real life or in their fantasies. He or she will get over it ,,but guess what ,,it wont cause them the years of depression and in my case a health condition because of the stress caused by utter stupidity about how I felt. After all the meals, clean clothes, beautiful children who were above and beyond cared for, all the planned trips, and a faithful wife, this spouse should have been kissing my ,,,,feet ! I feel so sorry for him,,,but he didnt care .. until now. its too late ..all desire for companionship other than friendship is gone,,I cant even kiss him. But,,he will always be my best friend , and a great father to my kids, He just refused to get help for his inability to make a connection with a woman as an adult man. Please dont waste time, if your family loves you, they will eventually understand, get a good financial divorce lawyer to help you plan, dont feel obligated to share too much information with your family if you dont want to. And , if you want to stay ,,go to counseling ,,please do it for yourself if he refuses to go. I should have done this a long time ago,,,I wasted my youth and energy, but I lived in fear and that is my fault. I just say , we lost our connection for years and have been good friends for the kids sake. I wish you the best,,life is short, how do you want to remember it ten years from now?

  18. dianna M.
    July 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    how does one stay without sex…the only reason you should not be having sex is because you have decided too take a break…..otherwise i use too have sex every other day and will get that back soon.

  19. July 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    i need sex…the only way you should be sexless is if you have taken a break from it.
    In my last relationship a few years ago it was every other day…unless we were working a lot…

    if it is not working then you need to moveone

  20. July 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I hit the send button too quickly….it is imperative that one has a sexual relationship….you have too get along as a couple or the sex will never work—if i had a refuser for a man i would have too go at some point..

    cannot fight him either no way…it affects the sex and if affects the communication…all kinds of issues begin…its just awful…find a a good guy or girl and have fun and have hot passionate sex. with him or her … good luck!

  21. Paula
    October 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

    WOW! I found this way after the last comment was made. I’m in my 40s and am in the process of ending a 16 year marriage. I went through some health issues that destroyed my libido but BEGGED my husband to pay attention to me and help me be there for him. I felt it was my duty as his wife to keep him sexually satisfied, but he never engaged in paying attention (telling me I look pretty, hugging me, rubbing my back). I found out the porn he professed to have given up remained a problem, he had gone looking for sex elsewhere (but claims he never acted on it, aside from one night of “inappropriate behavior”with a bimbo in a bar. Like a DOPE, I wanted to keep working on the marriage — I was willing to forgive him for the sake of our children and family and HE chose to walk away from 20+ years of togetherness and 16 years married life. It’s going to destroy us financially and my kids are already suffering. It’s not easy, but I am coming to the realization that he did me a favor by quitting the relationship — there was no engagement on his part unless it was demanding new (uncomfortable) sexual encounters with me and no respect for me. I have to believe I deserve better, even if it means being alone for the rest of my life. Not to mention, I have a son and I want HIM to grow up knowing how to treat a woman; seeing his father NOT hugging me, talking to me, kissing, holding hands…? That’s NOT the message I want my son to have about love and physical connection. For those of you staying “for the family” remember you deserve peace, respect and love even if it’s hard!

  22. David
    October 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Withholding sex is truly a horrible thing to do to a partner when it is meant to stay in control of the relationship. My wife did this for years, except she is the one that asked a divorce because in the end she had no desire for me. So after she killed my masculinity she blamed me for not being a man, which explained her lack of desire according to her.
    In our therapists’ own words, I did everything I could, but my wife was unable to acknowledge it.
    And the issue is that sexual frustration can really have devastating effects on a man’s mood and willingness. I was still far from being a monster (after all I was the one taking care of almost everything at home, because you understand, she had a lot of work. So did I, but nevermind), but I was definitely more angry and impatient because of it. This said, she thought I was using sexual frustration as an excuse for my mood.

    I now know it will take her a good deal of extra maturity to realize it some day, when it will be way too late.

    For a man this is a very, very horrible way to get dumped that tears confidence apart. I have a really hard time now to imagine that a woman could ever desire me, despite the fact that my female friends tell me that the woman who will have me will be a very lucky one. This is probably one of the deepest narcissistic wounds than can be inflicted, together with being cheated on.

    My only consolation is that I did all I could, and I always remained faithful despite being sexually starved to an extent hard to imagine.

  23. Museforaday
    October 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I have been married 23 years. For the last 6 years our marriage has been sexless. If I touch him in any way he says I am pawing at him. I have sleep apnea and he has said he didn’t want to make love to a machine. He’s said many other cruel things too.
    We started marriage counseling but he quit after 8 sessions. He doesn’t even try. I’m tired of rolling over and crying myself to sleep every night. I’ve cried, screamed, begged, everything. 2 weeks ago I tried to initiate sex and again he refused. I told him that night I would never ask him again. So far, I ‘s haven’t. I always told him when I stopped talking he should worry. When he asks me what’s wrong I tell him he already knows. My desire for him is gone. My heart and soul ache, but I know it’s time to walk away.

  24. rose
    October 8, 2013 at 5:54 am

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  25. Mike
    October 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I have been married to my wife for 8.5 years, of which the past 2.5 years have been without sex. I have not cheated on her, but I cannot go on any longer. We have no children together, live a normal life, and she is happy to remain this way. I have talked to her, and she has assured me of change, but it never comes. Within the next week, I am filing for divorce. I read this article, and it fits me to a T. I don’t care if I ever have sex again, but I won’t live without passion any longer. I’m feeling those guilty feelings of calling it quits, but I will just keep telling myself “I can’t live the rest of my life without passion.”

    • Michael
      August 10, 2014 at 5:31 am

      Buddy just wait on how much better your life will get when you get the sexless women out of your life. Do not stay get out as fast as you can run. Your sex life is so inportant you have no idea. You will be happier healther and just in a better mood. Why and what took you so long to wake up. And you do know you need not a want to have sex fo a healthy prostate it is a nessesaty go get your life back. I am sending you so much good energy right know to get out of that sexless relationship and go on. I could not belive what I hear about so many sexless women. I am so so sorry for the men I hear about it is jus not healthy it is jus sic to hear this good luck do not look back she is not worth it. You will see.

      • michael
        August 10, 2014 at 5:34 am

        That comment was to that man I con gradulated him for his wake up call if that is not allowed sorry. But he needed a pat sorry

  26. Jussayin'
    November 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    My wife is like the woman in the story. She insisted on doing everything after we were married- the money, decisions about what to buy for the house, what car we drive, where the kids went to school. If I disagreed then she would lose her temper and we would have a screaming match. After a few of those I simply said “screw it” and began to live my own life. Men don’t like bossy controlling women and the last thing they want is to have sex with them. Equal partners yes OK but not someone who says it’s her way or the highway. After a couple of years I tuned out just like the husband in the story. We haven’t had sex now for almost 17 years.

  27. Frank
    November 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    My wife and I have been intimate on no more than three occasions in the last 3 years, since the birth of our second and last child. I want sex, and crave it, but have decided to treat it like smoking and live my life without it.

    Its not like I don’t help with the child care, and its not like I am a bum (we both work). My wife would stay on the couch and play on the internet or read when I went to bed. I’d tell her that I am going to bed, drop hints, etc. When I would make an advance, it would be kindly rejected (have to get up in the morning, etc). I would rather live without sex entirely than only have it once a year. Now I just sleep in front of the TV. I know that were it not for the children I would have probably left several years ago. I love my wife, and she is dear to me, but I too feel that sex is equal to passion and if she can’t be passionate about me then whats the point? If she were passionate about something else (say art or music) and that got in the way of our intimacy, or if she had an affair with someone else, at least I would know that she ws still capable of it. Now I am biding my time until the kids are out of school. I know longr care if I have sex again, I just want to feel like the person I am with is my “soul-mate”. I don’t want to die like this. I’d rather die alone doing something I like.

  28. Amy
    November 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I messed up my life by not divorcing my husband. Now I’ve been married 45+ years and only had sex, intimacy, loving once and that was on our wedding night. Back in the 60s divorce and sexless marriage was not talked about. My parents would not support me, I was told to make your marriage work. First when first married we had really no money, and that was ok, I should have left right then and there. Having no money would have been at the right time, that way no one would be hurt. But I thought I could fix everything, (not) it never ever happened. We still haven’t alot of money but there is to much invested in my life. I couldn’t leave because I would be homeless and starving on the street. He always hated me, hated sex life and women . He lived his entire married life in our basement, hasn’t talked or showed any interest toward me.

  29. no name
    November 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I’m a man living a passionless life, but with a child who is my only source of joy. I’m less courageous than Bethany, partly because i feel guilty for that loss of passion and also because i am afraid of hurting my partner and child. Your story resonated with me though, and i liked what you wrote. It shows compassion and understanding.

  30. Sha
    December 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Been married for 26 years to a lovelly man but 15 years ago he had a small op which left him impotent but as he has never had it investigated I dont know if it is physical or mental for the first four year I tried to turn him on didnt work tried to show him I loved him but he pushed me back we now sleep in separate rooms and I get a peck on cheek if lucky after being celibate for 10 years I started having flirtations to try and raise my esteem I met a man 2 years ago who I have fallen in love with he says he loves me with a passion he has never known before and the sex is fantastic. He is happy to have whst he can of my time but now I think should I grab the happyness he could give me or stay with the status quo x

  31. Husband
    December 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I am part of this sexless marriage group. Me and my wife have been married for 7 years been together for 17, and we have 1 daughter who is 1. Throughout the marriage, we would have sex less than 10 times a year, After i finally broke down and told her that i am not happy with the way things are and that i have fallen out of love with her. I also don’t feel emotionally connected with her, not to mention that i started having an emotional affair with someone. I did not realize that i was doing this until i spoke with my counselor. I did not know Emotional affairs even existed. I thought it was just physical.

    Things have become harder. We have started counseling and she admitted to being sexually molested as a child multiple times, including from her father. She said she was not being intimate because she would not feel comfortable and go in the bathroom and cry. I never knew this was going on, and she never told me.

    I now want to leave, but now its like i have to stay because i would be considered a jerk for leaving during her crisis, or not being understanding. But that does not excuse the emotional pain that i felt and am still feeling. Granted i do not blame her for what has happened but now i feel like im stuck and i am wrong for feeling this way.

    My counselor said that this can be rebuilt and repaired, but i got to the point where i did not want to do it anymore and i planned for a divorce. Now im just confused. I am interested in someone else, I have found someone that i like but now i have ended that because of this situation. I know you should not start speaking with someone else until your are clear, but as i said before, it was hard because when you are not getting your needs meet for so long, for me it was emotional needs, its hard to not. I have never cheated and i dont believe in it.

    I have done everything i can for her, House, Cars, children, no dept, Try to make her feel good. and i always felt not appreciated, and for most men, being intimate with your wife is important, for me i wanted to feel appreciated and wanted. Even if sex wasn’t there ( because i can get a release by taking care of myself) i wanted to feel connected and currently i do not. I also admitted to her that i had a emotional affair and i have decided to try and give it another shot, but i do not know if im doing it because i feel obligated to or because i want to.
    She obviously wants to work on it but i am just in a very neutral spot right now and dont know if im doing the right thing for myself and for everyone else involved. I love her but it hurts me that i am giving up the Other person that i really care for, if i do not want to stay.

    Im confused. any advice?

    • Sistah43
      March 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      There is a good Experience Project support group about this situation. You are at a point where you might want to leave, I recommend you go there and post your question. There is a ‘board culture’ where they encourage people who have struggled with this issue to look at their 3 choices: 1). Stay and suffer 2) Cheat 3) Leave. I chose to stay (year 28 years for me), but I still suffer. Menopause has helped. Life’s circumstances and how I survive my family’s problems (he’s my emotional rock) make me willing to trade ‘no sex for great emotional/spiritual support’.

      Mine is a conscious, imperfect choice. And it’s one I can live with.

      One thing I would do is listen to my counselor if I trust him/her. Presumably they have all the facts (and mostly from your perspective) and if they are telling you to try and work it out, they may be looking out for your emotional development.

  32. December 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Ouch! That could kinda sorta be about me right down to the need for control and the name Bethany! Except it’s more complicated because prostate cancer left him more unable than unwilling. I’m committed to staying but when I think about “forever” with no physical affection it just makes me sad!

  33. Cindy
    January 22, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I REALLY needed to read this tonight. I’ve told my husband that I am leaving after 13 years of marriage. Even though I love him so much I also cannot imagine the rest of my life in a sexless marriage. He is obese and refuses to do anything about his weight which I am sure is contributing to his non-existent sex drive. But it’s not just him. It’s also me. I’ve regrettably become the naggy, bitchy mom and even though I try not to be I feel like it too late to do anything about. In the last 10 years of marriage I think we’ve had sex about 10 times – like once a year. As far as I can remember it’s mostly been partial, halfassed and boring. I am sad about the situation. I was one of those who never thought they would get divorced and here I find myself looking for ‘is a sexless marriage a reason for divorce’ blogs.

  34. Elena
    January 30, 2014 at 1:44 am

    I have only been married for less than 2 yrs and within 3 months of marriage my husband lost his job, became depressed and went on antidepressants, which didn’t help his mood much but killed our sex life. After trying several different medications, all of which left him with serious side effects (mostly sexual) he finally stopped the antidepressants. His equipment is once again in working order, but he doesn’t seem to have any desire to use it. When we were first dating he told me he was so glad I liked sex and he was convinced we were very sexually compatible. I am now learning that he had sexual issues in his previous 2 marriages. I’m guessing the problems were more his than his ex’s. He is a wonderful, kind, loving man and I love him very much, but I can’t see myself living in a sexless marriage indefinitely. We’re both in our late 50′s, but very youthful and attractive. Maybe he thinks we’re too old to have sex, but I’m certainly not. If I beg him for sex he’ll probably comply, but what woman wants to do that? I don’t want a divorce, so I’m thinking of just having an affair with a man who’s told me he’s strongly attracted to me. I’m wondering if I should tell my husband that I’m considering this. I don’t want to deceive him and he may not even care.

  35. Lisa Stevenson Brown
    February 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I have been married for 10 years. I met him on an internet dating site. He has a brain injury from a car accident that happened 12 years ago. Just recently he has developed Delusional Disorder, where he accuses me of having mutiple affairs with several men. I’ve never commited audultry. Not once. The doctor said he has dementia and that the confabulations are normal. He is only 38 years old. He has accused me of this in front of our 2 boys, called me insulting names and has told me infront of them, that he hates me and the only reason hes here is because of our boys. The truth is, they even want him to leave because they can’t stand the arguing. This has affected them emotionally, and I have to think of them. I have asked him to go back to Idaho with his family. He dont want to leave his children. He refuses sex with me because he thinks I’ve had affairs..this is totally aggravating, but because the trust is gone, the love is gone, the compassion is gone, and the sex is gone, he has to go..He told me he iw willing to forget about it and pretend like it never happened, but how can you forget something that never happened in te first place. He has it in his heart and mind that this happened, and it never did. He accuses me not just everyday, but every hour of the day. He talks about nothing else..I dont even know mutiple men. He said he no longer want to have sex with me because I’,m too loose down there..I take great offense to that…I told him he has got to leave..This marriage is over..

  36. SexlessSam
    February 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    What about sexually lonely men like me who are unable to have sex with a partner? My wife stopped having sex with me years ago. I remain faithful and don’t want to get a divorce and breakup my family. We get along fine despite there being no sex. So my only sexual outlet is masturbation and porn.

    I’ll tell you one thing. If I gave up the porn and masturbation the chances of me cheating on my wife out of sexual desperation are about 100%

    So in a way porn keeps my family together and keeps me from straying from my marriage. I don’t like the situation but my family is more important to me than affairs or paid sex.

  37. Help!
    February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t know what to do anymore. I love my husband. But the lack of sex is driving me crazy. Last year we had sex probably 5 times. We haven’t even been married two years. I can deal with him not helping around our home (it bothers me) but i can deal with that – if he actually showed some passion or excitement for me. I am turning into an angry person, a sad person. This is not who i am. I really do love him, I want things to work. Ive tried to talk about this with him and he completely ignores the situation, or says we will have sex – then we never do.I’ve tried everything. Nothing works. I work out, eat right, have a good job, dress well. None of it matters. We have no kids. Im afraid to. Have kids because i hear your sex life really takes a hit when you do and we barely have a sex life as it is. Im such a passionate person, it kills me to think ill never experience a passionate kiss or romantic night again in my life. Im 25. Im to.young for this. Ive considered divorce, but im afraid of hurting my husband. Any advice??

    • Pam
      March 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Leave. Your resentment will only grow and will poison your marriage. Being sexually compatible is very important for a successful relationship. Its not the end all or be all, but it’s part of a solid foundation.

      Go. You will be doing both yourself and your husband a favor.

      • Help!
        April 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

        Thank you for the advice. I’m practically crawling out of my skin. We are approaching 4 months no sex. I’m ready to throw in the towel. I just can’t believe my marriage will most likely end due to lack of sex. Not something a 25 year old thinks will be the issue. There are other problems but this is by far the worst. Again, I love my husband but I cannot live this way. I’m jealous of friends with great marriages and sex lives. I don’t want to live this way. I’m losing attraction and desire for my husband because I’ve been turned down so many times. He doesn’t want to try counseling. He thinks that’s stupid. I can’t help someone who won’t admit there is an issue. I don’t want to wake up in a decade feeling how I feel now.

      • Kim
        April 22, 2014 at 12:56 am

        Pam is exactly right, the resentment will only grow and it will change you as a person. The longer you wait the more convenient it will feel to just stay and deal with it. You deserve better than that for your life. I was in your position once but convinced myself I could stick it out for love and stability. Now I’m 30 and haven’t had sex in 6 years. I spent my entire 20′s feeling neglected and angry and I’ll never get that time back. I still don’t know what I’m going to do about my marriage because I feel so deeply entrenched–and we don’t even have kids! I’ve tried so, so many things and I think this might be the year I finally give up. So my advice is to leave and save yourself as much pain as possible. I’ve spent a lot of sad nights reading sexless marriage forums and I haven’t read any success stories.

        • Help!
          May 2, 2014 at 7:35 am

          Kim, thank you!!!! I hope you check this page again. We need to talk! You sound in the same situation as me. I’m now 26. We’re to young to be wasting our lives not enjoying passion! Since I’ve lasted posted things have improved in other areas of our marriage, but still not in the bedroom. He hasn’t tried anything. And all my attempts have been shot down. Sometimes I wonder if he just can’t stand my personality and that’s why he won’t be sexual, but then why did he marry me? We don’t have kids. We have separate bank accounts. I just keep trying. I think if we hit the six month mark with no sex I’m going to breakdown. I’ve told him how much this bothers me… No response. I know someone who knows his ex very well. Apparently they didn’t have sex either, that is one of the reasons they split up. I’m going to be forced to say see a doctor or we divorce and it breaks my heart!

          • Kim
            May 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm

            I definitely understand what you’re going through :( I wish I had better advice but I obviously haven’t figured it out yet. The other aspects of my marriage are just fine–we have fun together and cooperate around the house. But there’s a whole side of me that my husband doesn’t know because I can’t talk to him about my needs/desires or why I’m so cranky all the time. I learned a long time ago that bringing up any of those things means an instant fight with no productive result.

            One thing that might help: The other day I stumbled on the term “Madonna-Whore Complex.” Look that up and I think you’ll be amazed how much it applies to your husband, especially since he wasn’t having sex with his ex either. I can’t believe I’ve never seen that mentioned on any sexless marriage boards before. I’m almost positive that explains what’s going on for us. His testosterone levels are apparently fine and I know he watches straight porn…this is the only thing that makes sense. I have no idea how to approach the topic with him though. I finally decided to seek individual marriage counseling for myself to help me figure out what to do. Haven’t had my first appointment yet but hopefully it will be useful…

          • waited too long
            July 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

            To Help and Kim – if you are still reading…..you need to leave your marriages. My husband and I stopped having sex at age 27. Now I’m 40 and finally seriously considering divorce. 13 years with no sex. It won’t get better unless the man is willing to work on his issues, which many men aren’t. My husband is a kind gentle sweet funny man…..which is why I’ve stayed. But I don’t want to be in this same place at age 50. You can still be friends if you leave!! And that’s all you are now, right?

  38. De
    March 1, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Well I am at wits end. Our marriage has always been one of my wife taking care of the family finances. Now I worked ever since our marriage and always made a lot more then she did. However because of job and career cuts I retired around 60. As far as the sexless part of marriage It shamefully admit that I had to self pleasure. Which in spite of religious ideas and the shameful post pleasure feelings. It did seem to help me deal with that frustration. However now my controlling wife has also retired. So now I get no free time to have relief. She request for us to do and go everywhere together. When I try to tell her No. She pouts. So essentially I am now living in a sexless marriage, with a controlling wife, and no self time. To me self pleasure is more then a quick routine in the shower. She complains that I am irritable and I really it based upon sexual frustration. Bee reading about pills that can decrease my sex drive. I am noticing I am fantasizing more, and afraid that I am going to lose this battle or worse seeing divorce in the future. I am 62 not ready to live like this. Sorry if this got to graphic

  39. remb
    March 12, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Not sure what to do with my life. I love my wife and kids very much but am stuck in a love/sex less marriage. I help around the house, make breakfast & pack lunch for kids every day, do all the dishes, make dinner most nights, fix stuff around the house. Pay her compliments every day, every time I see her, but she is afraid of intimacy, she will make every excuse to get away from me. Even being near me for 1 second bothers her to no end. She can’t look into my eyes and talk to me about anything. its not sex i really desire, but a passion, purpose in life.
    Lately she is into fitness, spends all her free time at the gym or on Facebook. she lost tons of weight (went from size 12 to 4) and looks great. But this does not help me one bit as at the most we have sex once or twice a year for the past 15-18 years. I am starting to believe its my fault for asking too much from life. I love my kids so leaving her/the family is not an option, suicide seems like a coward act. So lately I simply wish/dream/hope every night that something very bad like sickness or accident will happen to me some day soon.

    • Taffney
      April 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      OH boy do I connect with what you’re saying and feeling. I have been married for 17 years to the man of my (sexual) dreams. While he lacks in a lot of other areas (he doesn’t want to handle things like bills, decision making, etc.) he is a good guy, good-looking guy and the only man I have wanted since the night I laid eyes on him 19 years ago. When we first dated and all the way until about our 8th year of marriage, we had sex almost every day. He was insatiable. I loved it and never told him no. Whatever he wanted to keep him happy was fine with me. I was a lovely size 8. My sexuality is a big part of who I am, and it is part of what drives all of the passions in my life. Anyway, out of the blue about 9 years ago- he started all of this weird crap, like saying “don’t talk anymore while we’re having sex.” I was so hurt, I asked him if we were just suppose to have “silent sex”- the answer was “yes” Anyway, ever since then it has been a steady decline. No matter what I say, do, beg, cry, or try. Nothing gets through. At this point it has been almost two years since we have had sex. Before that one time two years ago, it had been a year. Don’t think that there has been any other affection to take it’s place, because there hasn’t been. I use to cry myself to sleep every night, now I never cry. Of course, I don’t sleep well either. It’s so hard to lay in the bed next to someone that YOU love and want SO bad, but you know that they are not interested. I told him once that it is like starving to death and having your favorite food in front of you, but you cannot have it. I am going to be 50 years old this year.(so is he) We have a lot in common, he’s a good guy. Doesn’t make a lot of money, but at least he goes to his job every day. He helps around the house, doesn’t drink, do drugs or do porn. But, with all of the good – the sexless, passionless, intimacy free life is killing me. I have started to divorce him a dozen times, but always stop short in hopes that maybe, just maybe… but it never comes. I have often wished I would just go ahead and die. So I understand how you feel. I am grateful to have had this forum for which to post these feelings. This isn’t something you share with anyone in the family, a co-worker or casual friend. Good luck with your wife and your decisions. T

  40. Josh
    March 22, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Me? I am sorry I ever got married. For men there is little to gain and everything to lose. Women today do little to satisfy their husbands and on a whim run off with everything he all supported by a left wing system.

  41. Allegra
    March 30, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I am 45 and have been married to my husband for 20 years. We have no children and have not had any intimacy since 26th May 2010 before that December 2008, before that November 2007, before that March 2006…. 4 years now and I think I have had sex with my husband maybe 4 times in 7 years. Yes I remember all the months and before this when we were first married once a week, once a month then 3 months and so on. An alarm bell rang when we were living together before marriage, if only we had the internet then! My husband us just not interested in me physically, I even asked several times if he was gay…. No he tells me. He just says he cannot be bothered. I am sad, angry, hurt, feel unwanted, lonely. Makes sense why we have never conceived children because we have not had sex despite his low sperm count.
    I am devastated to say the least, I have stayed fit, take care of my appearance but I feel rejected and lonely. Some days I literally just keep active physically so the urge disappears, I can’t cheat, I couldn’t face my husband. I don’t know which way to turn, I am embarrassed and this is not what I signed up for. I don’t know how much longer I can be without any affection or love in my life. The longer it goes on the harder it is to reconnect intimately ever if at all again.
    The reality is I so not know how much longer I can continue to live without sex, love and intimacy in my life.

    • Stella
      April 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Dear Allegra, Your situation almost mirrors mine! I am 44, been with my husband 25 years but married for 8 years. Not had sex since November 2009. I recently discovered Jody Day who is the founder of Gateway Women, an organisation that supports, inspires and empowers childless-by-circumstance women in the UK. If you happen to read this post and would like to get in touch, please let me know. It’s really difficult to trust anyone enough to discuss this delicate issue.

  42. Dan
    April 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Glad to come across columns like this. I am a man that has been married from 28 years in a sexless, loveless marriage. I saw the warning signs before we got married and could see I was in trouble practically from the beginning. After I said “I do” she practically said ” I dont”. When it was really good we had sex maybe once every month or two. I feel like I have never had the priviledge of making love because she made me feel like she was doing me a favor and then would rollover and go to sleep. I could go on and on about this. Just glad to hear I am not crazy and not alone. I felt guilty about all the negative emotions and tried about everything to change the way I feel. I tried to tell myself it was just sex but I couldnt escape all the bad emotions. Somehow it has destroyed me emotionally. I finally was about to explode from keeping everything bottled and spent six months with a counselor. It helped alot just to be able to talk about it. I tried to get the wife to go to counseling several times. She would go a few times and when it got real she would get angry and quit going. Thanks for those who have posted. It really does help. I told myself this is the year that I either have to decide to end it or learn how to live with it.

    • dad with big family
      April 1, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Interesting posts. I’m not much of a blogger, but here’s my two cents. Where to start? Well, been married 17 years, together 18 or so. I’ve always been a sexual person. And I know that my wife is, also. There were some abuse issues in my teens, which took awhile to heal from, but on the whole, the sexual relationships I had prior to marriage were pretty good. When I met my wife, I was really on a high. I felt strong, really together. But due to a variety of reasons, I fell into a depression not long after my wife-to-be started dating. I think she got spooked and our sex life started to have issues. My plumbing, which had no issues whatsoever, started to have a mind of its own, and I would lose my erection when she would say something critical. In a way, it never really got off the ground very well. Nevertheless, we did love each other and got married. I don’t regret that. Sex was rarely easy, although we did make some progress for a time. Over the course of the following 11 years, we had six children together. No regrets there, folks. I love having a big family. Not for religious reasons, just because I love all of my kids. Sex was easier when we were trying to conceive. In fact, when we were not trying to conceive, sex was infrequent. My wife is, admittedly, a control freak. That was hard because in bed, I like to have some control. Don’t think that people with large families necessarily have a lot of sex…not true. All six of our kids were planned. I know my wife likes sex…but it’s been 3 years since we have been sexual at all. Yes, right after I got my vasectomy, she basically shut down. What a waste of money…the vasectomy I never got to use, at least not yet. With all the kids and life and school, life is stressful, and I know that the craziness makes sexual intimacy hard to come by. We sleep in separate rooms now. Last time we tried to have a discussion about sex, we ended up fighting. She can’t give me an answer. If she were to say “Look, life is crazy now, I love you, I do want to have sex with you but can’t right now” I could accept that. But when I asked her if she wanted to have sex, at least in theory, with ME, she said “I don’t know”. Great. We’ve been through a lot, however. Even though there are issues, she is the mother of my children, and we do love each other a lot. Divorce would be horrible for everyone, and devastate us financially. I can’t do that to the kids, I just can’t. So I take care of my own sexual needs. I feel bad about watching porn alone, but as another poster said, it’s actually saving my marriage — at least for now. It’s a tool to get through these times. I don’t think I could go through with an affair. It just wouldn’t feel right, and I don’t have time anyway. I just hope that some day my wife will be willing to possibly go to counseling with me, or maybe we can just work it out on our own. It’s a cruel twist of nature…in general terms…men need sex to feel connected and women need to feel connected to have sex. So we’re at a stalemate. Once the kids are older and we have more time, we are either going to make an effort to grow back together or maybe go our separate ways. If we do, I hope it will be as friends.

  43. Ginger
    April 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    My husband and I have been married 15 years. For the last 10 years or so, I’m lucky if we have sex once a year. It’s awful. I’ve kept this secret and have told no one. His excuse is that he doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to have sex with me. We fight, I give him an ultimatum to go to counseling and/or to a doctor that he trusts, he swears he’ll do it, and we go right back to not having sex. No discussion. I’m so tired of this. I desire sex and would like to be active 2 or 3 times per week. At least once per week. I’ve asked him if I can go outside our relationship to get fulfilled sexually, but he says he doesn’t want that and will seek help, which he never does. I give up. We have so much in common, so many shared dreams and goals, but now, the lack of intimacy, passion, and sex has overshadowed all of that. I’m so sad that this may be it. We fought today and I asked him to leave. He’s gone. I feel very, very alone. I know that if I am ever to have passion in my life again, I must get through this loneliness, disappointment, and heartache. I’m 54. I take good care of myself. But I feel invisible, begging for attention of any kind from a man who is incapable of giving it. He has been a good step-father to my now-grown daughters, and my grandson knows him as his Papa. I’m sad that this is the end for us.

  44. Heather
    April 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I was so glad to find this. My husband and I have been married for 19 years and have 4 beautiful children. We have not had sex in two years now. I am 40 and he is 50. We never had problems before but for some reason all intimency and passion is now gone. I crave for something to change but my husband doesn’t think it is a problem. I have seriously considered divorce but dont want to break up the family but I feel that I am too young to be in a passionless and sexless marriage. Even a simple peck on the cheek before leaving for work or when coming home would make my day because I do it to him when I leave the house. We are just roomates.

  45. Jeff
    July 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    My wife and I have nearly been married / together for 14 years now. Sex was great when we first got together and for the first year.

    Then we had our first child and never seemed to recover. Sex only happened sporadically and always I had to initiate it, or it never happened at all. Eventually, it was only happening at night after we both fell asleep.

    We had our 2nd child after 5 years and then another at 8 years old … with no memory of actually enjoying the “making of” … since it was at night, when we were asleep.

    This “sleep sex” caused lots of problems of its own … eventually leading to a feeling of mistrust and distance between us that continually widened.

    We knew it was a problem and tried counseling a couple times … but were always exhausted from work, house and kids … that just never made any progress on it for years.

    Recently the tension has peaked and we argued constantly until we realized it had to stop … and eventually admitted that while we still love each other and the life we created, we have no desire to have sex with each other any more. very sad, but we had to admit the truth.

    But we are good friends, with lots of respect for each other and really love our family and kids and where we live … so neither wants to move out or break up the family.

    So we agreed to “release from responsibility” each other concerning sex … it sounds crazy, but we agreed that it was the only way we could be really happy and still try to hold together our family. Which at first, sounded like a great idea … in fact, it felt like a release of tension to no longer be “blamed” for my wife’s unhappiness sexually.

    Since we are middle age (35 & 42) maybe some of this is “normal” — mid life crisis or hormones out of balance … so the idea of actually enjoying sex again some day is exciting.

    But emotionally, it seems impossible … for one, who would want to date a married guy without thinking of them like some cheating bastard or family breaker ?!

    And with the young boys growing up, I am worrying that we would be setting another bad example … and they will grow up and treat their spouses the same way.

    Should I just man up and break up ? Settle for porn & masturbation rest our lives ? Is there any “good” solution ?!

    • Andy
      July 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

      Hi Jeff,

      I feel for you, i have no good advice but can only let you know you are not alone…I’m in a very, very similar situation to you and was considering having the “release from responsibility” conversation with my wife of 9 years tonight. We have been in a technically sexless marriage for 2 years now and if i try and initiate and get rejected I have terrible feeling of guilt more than anything. I can’t bear the thought that I’m pressing my wife to do something she has no interest in, at least if it’s out in the open and I know there is no possibility of sex and she knows I’m not going to “bug” her for it maybe we’ll get along better, at least for the sake of the kids?

    • CyberNovice53
      July 27, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      You will “settle’ for porn and masturbation and then an affair. Been there and doing that.

  46. mike
    July 25, 2014 at 12:16 am

    i haven’t seen anything at all like my circumstances.
    over 16 years with no sex.
    that’s NONE, not once in a while or rarely.
    my wife just places no value on sex or my needs.
    she will not entertain any kind of counseling and is happy watching “housewives of whatever” shows all the time.
    i’ve never cheated; only last year even thought about it.
    stupid me, should have bailed on this years ago.
    at least i have a house with a big basement (aka man-cave) and have reignited my interests in my hobbies.
    don’t be a “dudley do-right” like me – get out and try to find someone better for you!

  47. CyberNovice53
    July 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Many of these comments are spot on. Years ago, it was one thing, then another then another, I finally ran out of excuses and explanations and finally realized, it’s not that we don’t live having sex, I’m a convinced we (wife and I) just don’t like having sex with each other. But I see the common them that’s beyond lack of sex, lack of passion and then “what’s the point”? For the kids. I sleep in another room and haven’t sleep this good in years. Get a mistress to take care of sex, since everything else is taken care of.

  48. Douglas
    August 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    In the days when “grounds” were required to get a divorce in most states, the lack of physical intimacy w/o hope of things getting better would be considered as constructive abandonment of the marriage by one or both parties. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but it seems oddly perverted to have a “celibate marriage”, which is by definition an oxymoron.

    It’s hard to say why a couple that otherwise seems to get along lose interest in sex; there seems to be as many opinions on the subject as there are marriage counselors and psychologists. I see it not only as an aberration but also an indicator of poor health, like a poor appetite (for food).

  49. terry
    August 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    The sad truth is that men are extremely visual and there is nothing more exciting than variety. Even a real man, dedicated long term to a marriage, may still love their wife but are not sexually thrilled visually after 25 yrs. Yes i know theres more than looks to a relationship but that is one of the bottom line facts men may find hard to admit to themselves. I dont agree it should be this way or even want it to be but i live it so its real. Im still attracted to what i liked when i was 20.

  50. SadSmith
    August 18, 2014 at 10:14 am

    This is hardly a 50s problem only. I am only 33, married for 6 years, together for 8, sexless for past 5, I mean 0. I find myself unable to continue this relationship anymore. My wife is very good looking, like a 9. We had an abortion before we got married, which marred her from wanting sex. I love her more than I’ve ever loved anyone, but this no sex thing is driving me insane. It kills me to be next to a hot babe every night and not able to do anything with her. I am athletic and have a good career. Every time I see or interact with a female coworker or see a girl when I go workout, I fantasize about a life where I am free to approach and talk to other women. I came close to ask my coworker out, I think about other women all the time, but I refuse to act it out against my wife. I brought up divorce, but she seems devastated and crushed by the thought of it. I can’t bear to see her sad and lost, but I long for a fuller life. I feel so miserable, and have been for years, yet I can’t see a solution.

  51. Jailed
    August 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

    You know I have skimmed thru these many comments and I feel good not to be the only one out there dealing with this and at the same time I feel sad that so many people are dealing with this. My husband refuses to have sex with me and hasn’t for at least three years (I’ve lost count). He hasn’t slept next to me in a bed for like 12 years. The even sadder part is that he is okay with this. I am so frustrated and angry about it that I don’t want to even talk about it. I really just want out…

  52. lonely
    September 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I am in similar position. My husband and I hadn’t had sex for almost 1.5 year. We have a one year old child and then we had sex a few times while i was pregnant but because the pregnancy was difficult and intercourse painful we stopped it around month 6-7. Before we did not have sex often neither. From time to time. My husband blames me for sexless relationship as it happened a few times when i wasn’t feeling up to getting busy. He felt rejected and decided to pay back with the same treatment and somehow few years went by. How I became pregnant it’s miracle or maybe just his biological clock. However now, I decided to get divorce not because sexless relationship but because he became verbally abusive after the baby was born. And now he decided to have an open marriage and have sex with someone else. He does not understand that it’s difficult to want to be intimate with someone who hurt you deliberately.

  53. Amy
    October 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

    We have been married 47 years and all of our problems started with ‘I DO’. Before we were married we were virgins, and to this day I still feel like a virgin who no longer has any interest in sex.
    On our wedding night things turned from really happy to completely miserable. We did have sex even though it was clumsy I thought it was fine but he felt it was disgusting, smelled like slimmy garbage, waste of sleep time, no feeling and something that he never ever wanted to do again and it has never happened again. He didn’t even sleep with me that night he slept out on the patio of our hotel.
    He apologized the next morning then he told me he had to get home and get ready for work, he had volentered to work the midnight shift and at the same time he was moving all his stuff to the basement.where he has lived all these years. We haven’t talked in years. He just wanted to be left alone, had no interest in sex with me or any one else.He told me if I wanted to leave that was OK with him and that it would be the best move. We didn’t have really any money at the time, we did have our rent payed and food in the refrigerator, and that’s it. I chose to stay which was a horrible mistake, things got worse not better. He’s not gay or have alittle whore on the side. I payed for people to follow him many times and nothing. I was told that watching him was the most boring 150 dollars a day that these people made. I just gave up hope and stayed out of his way by not being home as much as possible. A very horrible way to live and regret every minute, hour, day and year.

    • Quandary
      October 27, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Oh my goodness, your situation is so sad.

      My situation is different but still it saddens me so much.
      I am in my second marriage, 7 years after my first marriage ended, we met, married 5 years, together for 8, no children (he has one from his previous marriage) as soon as we married the sex dropped right off. I think we had sex 6 times and the last of that was 2 years ago. When we did, it was only on his terms, at night in bed lights out and done in 2 minutes, when finished he would get up and go to another room and sleep in the spare bed… I am a more sensual person than this and it is killing me to not be with a man who wants to be intimate and physical in the beautiful sense of it, that connection. I think after we married I realised, I married a narcissistic man, he can be very loving and is happy to do everything, so long as I sit and be quiet and have no opinion or comment and sit and listen to him complain about how bad the world is, how all people are horrid… as soon as I walk in the door everyday I am met with an angry voice (I try to tell myself he is being passionate about the topic of choice, but it makes me shiver – he just sounds angry) what went wrong or who did him wrong, I suggest we might start with pleasant conversation but he sees that as unnecessary as he needs to tell me about how the world sux, everyday, several times a day.
      There are good things about my husband, he is kind and good to certain people and animals and he says he loves me, but my goodness the crap I have to put up with just does not sit well with the person I really am. he does not want a conversation with me unless he replies with being defensive, thinks everything I say is an attack on him, he often says “I am not like that” “I didn’t do that” “I never said that” when I am not even talking about him or even hinting that it is about him, just general discussion about people and life in general. He is never on the same wave length as me, if I say something is black he will ague it is white or if I talk about how sunny the day is he will say “oh no it is cloudy today” but the sky is clearly blue!! I am not myself anymore. A tree in huge pot plant falls over in the strong winds today, I said “we need to stand that up” his reply “no we don’t it needs to stay like that” I said “it will die and then you will be pissed at that”… when i was out of site he went and stood it up and made it out to be his idea.
      I feel I am just existing because I took vows for better or worse… now I am stuck and confused.
      To add to this, I have a male friend who had been very special to me for 25 yrs, he recently wanted to catch up with me as we have always done. My husband has hit the roof and said horrible nasty things about this and did not tell me to end the friendship but was impossible and nasty to me about everything for the next 2 days, so I had it out with him and I ended up saying I will end it, he accused me of having an affair because I said I would end it… I had to beg him to believe me that I was ending a long term friendship, there was no affair. I am gutted. He screams that he wants to separate (I tell him if thats what he wants then go for it) and said many nasty things, all uncalled for. He has chipped away at my personal integrity, chip chip chip… I am becoming numb. I want to love my husband but I am struggling to find any real reasons to feel love, the depth of love that I like to give and feel is not there anymore. I am fearing I am only staying out of not wanting a 2nd failed marriage or not wanting to give up the material things or the relationships it will effect with other people.
      A dear female friend said to me, if you are not happy 5 years from now, get out, life is not a dress rehearsal. This is true. But some days I think get out now, other days I think for the convenience of things go with the 5 year plan. The other thing is before I married my husband I had another male friend tell me if ever we were both unhappy we should find each other and see what happens… he is and has been single for 6 years now. So i am tempted to see if there is anything in that… in between constantly thinking I am not happy with my husband I am constantly thinking about the fact there is another man out there who wants nothing more than to be with me and see me happy… More importantly I know I can be happier than I am in this marriage, but I am scared to have 2 failed marriages.

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